Picking the best streaming service isn't just about price, it's about the whole experience, from how easy it is to navigate to how many things there are that you actually want to watch.
Every year, Whip Media surveys over 2,000 US viewers to find out what they think of their streaming services, and this year for the second year running there's a clear winner: Max.
Max shouldn't get cocky, though. Its score has dropped slightly, from 94% last year to 88% this year. While that's not a particularly large drop, there have been larger movements in the rankings, despite Max still being number one.
Who are the best streaming services in the US for customer satisfaction?
According to the report, there's generally good news for the industry, with overall satisfaction levels rising. However, the study also suggests that there are challenges for the better-known, bigger streamers in particular. It highlights Netflix as continuing "to grapple with a longer-term deterioration in subscriber satisfaction".
The top three are the same as last year, albeit with some slight changes in their numbers. After Max there's Hulu, with 87% satisfaction (the same amount as last year), followed by Disney Plus with 85%, down from 88% in 2022.
Netflix shows a significant drop, down from 90% in 2021, 80% in 2022 and now at 77%, and Prime Video is just behind at 74%, slightly up from the previous year's 72%. But the trying hardest gong probably belongs to Peacock. It may be in last place but its ratings have gone from 62% in 2021 to 68% last year and 74% now, putting it on the same level as Amazon.
Before I get inundated with comment from angry streaming firms' PRs, of course studies like this only feature a small number of actual subscribers. But they do provide interesting trend data, and can help streamers see where their competitors may be doing better. The full study is more nuanced – so for example it notes that Netflix "still leads all other platforms in user experience and programming recommendations despite losing traction from last year... Disney Plus and Max are the only platforms to see declines in both categories".
One of the most interesting categories, given the recent rash of price rise announcements, is whether people think services are good value for money. Disney Plus and Max are both down, by five and seven points, respectively, and Hulu, Netflix and Paramount Plus have single-point drops too. However, Peacock and Apple TV Plus are both up by five points each.
You can read the full study online at Whip Media.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.